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July 26, 2013

No privatisation of the courts…or is there?

In late May the Times revealed that the government was planning to privatise courts administration. This report was rebutted with an assurance that they were not considering wholesale privatisation.  No further details were available as to what the thinking was.   Until this week, when a letter to all judges was published.  Opaque is a slight under statement in describing it .  Journalists such as Frances Gibb (and me) ended up interpreting it as saying that

– the government is not going to privatise the staff in courts administration

– they have not ruled out privatising the courts estate

– they are trying to gets courts administration to pay for itself

– the vehicle they favour for the staff is an “independent public interest corporation”, presumably something like the BBC, though its  not clear why they need this new structure

– there is no interest in re-localisation of the courts

Only those in MoJ and HMCTS know more about the thinking and strategy.  We will just have to wait